Monday, December 03, 2007

How Not to Use the Law of Attraction

I've made no secret that I met my husband of 15 years only after years of making every dating mistake in the book. I made a career of dating losers, schmoozers, No-Show Joes, and other human disappointments.

I attracted them. What's worse I was attracted to them.

I came to the sorry realization that all my failed relationships had one thing in common: Me.

About this time, I discovered the Law of Attraction through several excellent books. I bought and studied every LoA resource I could get my hands on.

My life changed.

I used LoA not only to meet a great guy but also to lose weight. Before I'd even found the LoA books, I'd read somewhere that research showed that basketball players who merely visualized themselves making shots did just as well as players who actually practiced.

I decided I would try a similar method to lose weight. At the time I had 20 pounds to lose, and so I'd say to myself as I dropped off to sleep:

"I am losing 20 pounds."

I said it over and over, picturing myself looking thin and fabulous in a little black dress.

I'd been dieting for years and years (since the age of 14, actually), and I'd never had much success. Once I started using the method I described, I actually lost 30 pounds, instead of 20.

However, there's a wrong way to use the Law of Attraction, and it's a trap even I still fall into. Occasionally, I'll dwell on the things I don't want:

-Messes in the house

-My husband's insistence on watching John Wayne movies

-Skyrocketing gas prices

-Skyrocketing electric rates (thank you, Governor Jodi Rell)

-Soulless Christmas commercials featuring intellectually-shortchanged individuals singing songs of worship to an automobile.

Over the weekend, I hit rock bottom. A friend and I got together to attend a tour of neighborhood houses that had been decorated for Christmas.

Each of them inspired awe in its own way. Unfortunately for me, a house built in 1786, which is currently owned by a married couple who have probably not even turned 30, inspired envy.

The cleverness with which this couple used vintage and homemade objects to decorate their historic, yet well-maintained house, brought tears to my eyes. And then there was a the kitchen! They'd managed to hold onto its pre-George Washington administration charm, while introducing chic amenities.

Leaving the house, I felt like a failure. While my house is certainly pleasant and comfortable, it couldn't compete with any of the dwellings on the tour. I got into a funk about it.

The next morning, it occurred to me: You're doing things backward again. You see something you like, and instead of saying to yourself, "That's something I'd like to achieve," you get down on yourself for not having it already.

Seeing those houses marked an opportunity for me to crystallize my thoughts about what I do want, instead of what I don't.

As for gas and electricity prices, well, aside from lowering my consumption, I don't have too much of a choice about them. Instead of grousing about the high costs of things, wouldn't it be more productive to use the Law of Attraction to expand my means?

What does any of this have to do with you?

Well, as far as meeting Mr. Right goes, it's pretty much the same thing. Chances are, you'll run into couples that you do and do not like as Christmas, Hannukah, and New Year's approach. Use these meetings to your advantage.

See the way your cousin and her husband treat each other. Is that the kind of relationship you're going for? If not, what don't you like about it?

-Do they bicker about who changed the baby last?

-Do they ever laugh?

Observe. Take mental notes. Based on your findings, write a list of what you do want in your next relationship, as opposed to what you don't.

When you know what you want, it's amazing how you attract it. What's more, you become attracted to it, too.

Once you attract the man of your dreams, you will probably need a wedding dress. You can use the Law of Attraction to find that, too.

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